The Best Free Podcasts to Listen to If You Want to Feel Inspired
I recently listened to a speech from Arnold Schwarzenegger on goals and visions around personal development and how there’s one big crutch for people “not doing [blank]” to help them meet their personal goals: Time, and how much it takes for significant personal growth
Throughout his talk, Arnold’s main point was this: You have to break down your growth goals into manageable chunks. In other words, if you spend an hour a day dedicated to growing and learning, that’s 365 hours in a year — and that’s a really significant investment on the tail end, but a much smaller investment on the front end. This really stuck with me on a personal level, because I understand the challenge of time, and where to fit in focused energy on something that stimulates me personally.
After listening to Arnie, I thought through my normal day and where I could start prioritizing MY hour of growth. Since I don’t have a lot of downtime, I zeroed in on one of the places where I could prioritize my time better: my commute. Every day, my “to and from” work takes 30 to 45 minutes going and 45 minutes to an hour coming back. That is potentially two hours of dedicated time to spend listening to something, catching up on calls with family and friends, or having dedicated quiet time.
And this, this insignificant little piece of time where I was doing something useful but wasn’t really optimizing my efforts, is where my love of podcasts began.
Like most things these days, there is an infinite number of choices when it comes to podcasts. They can range from educational, mystery, storytelling, professional development, or just something fun and entertaining — and that’s really the beauty of them. Depending on my mood, I focus my time on what’s going to be most beneficial to me, and then I go all in for the message, ready to learn.
To get a sneak peek into what I love catching up on, here’s a snapshot of a few of my personal favorites for business and professional inspiration, and what to expect with each.
1. Looking for… business and professional inspiration
Guy Raz dives into the stories behind some of the world’s best-known companies. “How I Built This” weaves a narrative journey about innovators, entrepreneurs and idealists — and the movements they built.
In this podcast, Tony Robbins and his co-host, Peter Mallouk, reveal the secrets of those who have navigated through the fiercest of storms and still come out on top. Learn how to not only survive, but to thrive, and achieve long-term financial freedom — no matter what is happening in the world around you.
2. Looking for…. A lesson in how to get your sh*t together and hustle
On this podcast, you’ll find a mix of #AskGaryVee show episodes, keynote speeches on marketing and business, segments from my DAILYVEE video series, interviews, and fireside chats.
In this podcast, Robbins shares proven strategies and tactics so you, too, can achieve massive results in your business, relationships, health, and finances.
3. Looking for…. suspense and mystery
“Serial” unfolds one story — a true story — over the course of a whole season, and there’s currently three seasons in rotation. The show follows the plot and characters wherever they lead, through many surprising twists and turns. Sarah, the podcast’s storyteller, won’t know what happens at the end of the story until she gets there, not long before you get there with her.
“S-Town” is a new podcast from “Serial” and “This American Life,” hosted by Brian Reed, about a man named John who despises his Alabama town and decides to do something about it. He asks Brian to investigate the son of a wealthy family who’s allegedly been bragging that he got away with murder. But when someone else ends up dead, the search for the truth leads to a nasty feud, a hunt for hidden treasure, and an unearthing of the mysteries of one man’s life.
“Up and Vanished” is an investigative true crime podcast hosted by Atlanta filmmaker Payne Lindsey. In Season 1, Payne tackles his first cold case story, the unsolved disappearance of Georgia high school teacher and former pageant queen, Tara Grinstead. The 11-year-old case remains the largest case file in Georgia history and is still unfolding. Season 2 focuses on the disappearance of young mother Kristal Reisinger from a remote mountain town in Colorado. “Up and Vanished” aims to tell compelling, true stories and give these cases the exposure they deserve.
4. Looking for…. learning something new about people
Unseeable forces control human behavior and shape our ideas, beliefs, and assumptions. Invisibilia — Latin for invisible things — fuses narrative storytelling with science that will make you see your own life differently.
5. Looking for… laughs
Imagine if your Dad wrote a dirty book. Most people would try to ignore it and pretend it had never happened — but not Jamie Morton. Instead, he’s decided to read it to the world in this award-winning comedy podcast. With the help of his friends, James Cooper, and BBC Radio 1’s Alice Levine, Jamie reads a chapter a week and discovers more about his father than he ever bargained for.
Love what you read here? Or maybe I missed one of your favorite free podcasts to listen to? Drop me a note below, I could talk all day about podcasts — and I’m always looking for my next favorite! Also, message me on Twitter @hmbyers.